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Our Team

Jon Baron

Jon Baron is president of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that he founded in 2001. Over the past 14 years, the Coalition’s work with Executive Branch and Congressional policymakers has advanced important evidence-based reforms in U.S. social programs, which have been enacted into law. In a recent external review of the Coalition’s work, based on not-for-attribution interviews with federal officials: “The Coalition was given credit by multiple interviewees for the Office of Management and Budget’s establishment of a requirement that many discretionary domestic programs be subject to rigorous evaluation, and for certain pieces of legislation carrying similar requirements…. As one interviewee stated, ‘The push for strong evidence would not have happened as quickly and widely and with so relatively little controversy without the Coalition.’”

Based on the Coalition’s work, Mr. Baron was twice nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences (2004-2011), and was the Board’s Chair during the last year of his term. He has also served on the National Academies’ Committee on Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation; and is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and recipient of the Society for Prevention Research’s Public Service Award (2006).

Mr. Baron’s prior positions include: Executive Director of the Presidential Commission on Offsets in International Trade (2000-2001); Program Manager for the Defense Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program (1995-2000); and Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business (1989-1994).

Mr. Baron holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a Master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University.

David Anderson

David Anderson joined the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy in 2004 and currently serves as its Vice President. Mr. Anderson holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver. Mr. Anderson played a central role in the development, launch, and operation of the Coalition’s Help Desk for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (2005-present) and the What Works Clearinghouse Help Desk (2005-2007), and has served as the lead Help Desk moderator on both. In this role, he has provided personalized assistance to a wide range of Help Desk users, including leading the Coalition’s in-depth review of more than 100 evaluations of federally-funded math and science education programs and projects for the Congressionally-established Academic Competitiveness Council — a high-profile interagency initiative, chaired by then Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

Since 2007 he has also overseen the Coalition’s staff level evidence reviews conducted for the Top-Tier Evidence initiative–a validated resource used by federal officials to identify social programs meeting the Congressionally-enacted Top Tier evidence standard. In this capacity, he has served as a primary resource for the initiative’s expert panel of nationally recognized, evidence-based researchers and former public officials.

Deborah Gorman-Smith

Deborah Gorman-Smith is Professor and Deputy Dean for Research at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and principal investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of six national Academic Centers of Excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also serves as Distinguished Research Fellow with the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy. Dr. Gorman-Smith received her Ph.D. in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her program of research, grounded in a public health perspective, is focused on advancing knowledge about development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, with specific focus on minority youth living in poor urban settings.

Dr. Gorman-Smith has been or currently is principal or co-principal investigator on several longitudinal risk and preventive intervention studies funded by NICHD, NIDA, CDC-P, SAMHSA and the W.T. Grant Foundation. She currently serves as the incoming President for the Society for Prevention Research, in addition to her service on other national, state and university committees. She served as a visiting scholar at the Joint Center for Poverty Research at Northwestern University/University of Chicago. Dr. Gorman Smith has published extensively in areas related to youth violence, including the relationship between community characteristics, family functioning and aggression and violence, including partner violence and the impact of family-focused preventive interventions.

Kim Cassel

Kim Cassel joined the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy in 2011 and currently serves as its Project Leader. She has conducted evidence reviews for a wide range of audiences, including federal officials, foundation leaders, and social service providers. Prior to joining the Coalition, Ms. Cassel was a Research Analyst at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois-Chicago and then Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, where she coordinated data operations for federally-funded longitudinal research studies focused on the prevention of aggression and violence for inner city youth, including a large randomized controlled trial of a school-based universal intervention. In addition to these responsibilities, she carried out evidence reviews for the Coalition starting in 2009. Ms. Cassel holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and German from Wake Forest University.

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